Restart the Finder in Mac OS X
Need to quickly restart the Finder in Mac OS X? The quickest way to do that is by using the Dock:
- Hold down Option key and Right Click on Finder’s Dock icon, then select “Relaunch”
Option+Right Click reveals the otherwise hidden “Relaunch” option in the menu. Selecting that option causes the Finder to quit and restart itself, and the entire desktop will be refreshed in the process. Additionally, any changes made to Finder with defaults commands or other customizations will take effect with the relaunch.
Restarting Finder can be a helpful troubleshooting tip for some strange behaviors that may occur on the Mac desktop, and it’s much faster and less obtrusive than a full system reboot.
Outside of troubleshooting purposes, many customizations and defaults write commands require restarting the Finder for the changes to take effect. Although since you’re usually in the Terminal when using those, the Finder can also be restarted directly from the command line with the following:
Because the Finder is a process just like any other application on the Mac, you can also quit the Finder and treat it like any other application with a force quit or ‘kill’ command, thereby having it stay closed completely. Note that leaving the Finder app closed will hide the desktop, icons, and file system browser, which may not be desirable for all users.